CONCORD, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) – A former NFL player says he was unfairly treated by police and profiled while minding his business at Concord Mills Mall.
It took place last week and Victor Hampton says he was putting some items in a car after shopping with a friend.
Before heading back into the mall to watch a movie, he heard the voice of an officer, “The first thing he yelled was yo like very loud,” said Hampton. “There were people walking in the same vicinity as us so we didn’t think he was speaking to us, so initially we were kind of confused.”
Concord police were in the parking lot looking at a possible stolen vehicle according to Hampton. The pair kept walking and the officer yelled again, “Yo, ya’ll, stop where are ya’ll going,” Hampton said recounting the event.
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Victor Hampton started recording the back and forth after five minutes of the officer following him.
In the video you hear the officer telling the pair why he was following them, “Because you were in the area of a stolen car,” said the officer.
“How many people in the area of a stolen car,” replied Hampton.
The officer asked the couple for ID which they denied, and Hampton said he continued to feel profiled because he didn’t do anything.
“If you do not stop, you’re going to jail,” says the officer in the video. “Take me to jail,” replies Hampton.
Days later Hampton is still wondering why the situation got to that point, “Why are we even suspects of a stolen car? For one, where is the car, who are you looking for sir, he couldn’t tell us who he was looking for.”
And the video shows that fact, the woman asks the officer about the suspect he is looking for.
“What does the person look like,” asked the woman. “I don’t know,” says the officer.
The officer tried to arrest the couple and take the phone from the woman. Concord police released a statement to Queen City News saying the department would release another statement after an internal review of the incident.
The statement from Concord police also says, “Concord PD strives to meet the highest standards of community policing and earn the public’s trust through transparency and accountability, which is why we’re currently conducting an internal review.”
Victor Hampton wants more than a review. He’s having nightmares since the incident, and all he says all he could think of during that altercation was don’t go to the ground.
“I didn’t want to be on the ground with them because I knew, hey we seen George Floyd and what happens on the ground right,” added Hampton. “I’m not going to the ground. I got to a point where I said listen because I don’t want to die today you can cuff me.”
The full recorded video from Victor Hampton can be watched below.
Concord Police Department released a full statement following an internal review on Friday:
The City of Concord Police Department strives to achieve the highest standards of professional conduct in policing and deliver exceptional and reliable service to the community. An officer responding to a report of a stolen vehicle fell short of these standards during his interaction with two individuals outside the Concord Mills Mall on Thursday, May 19, 2022. The on-scene supervisor appropriately intervened and the department began a thorough internal review immediately following the incident, and has taken corrective actions with the responding officer. Concord PD acknowledges and regrets the impact of this incident on the individuals involved and the entire Concord community, and will continue to work to build positive relationships and establish mutual trust and respect through accountability and transparency.
In February 2022, Flock Safety cameras were installed in the area of Concord Mills Mall to enhance community safety. The automated license plate reading cameras help police identify stolen vehicles and vehicles linked to crimes, and also send alerts for vehicles linked to an active Amber Alert or Silver Alert to assist police in quickly locating missing persons.
On Thursday, May 19, 2022, Concord PD received a Flock Safety notification of a stolen vehicle at Concord Mills Mall. A responding officer trying to determine who was connected to the stolen vehicle approached two individuals in the area of the stolen vehicle. During contact with the individuals, the officer believed at the time that he had probable cause to arrest for resist, delay, and/or obstructing a law enforcement officer. An on-scene supervisor intervened and determined probable cause did not exist, detention was not reasonable based on the facts available, and acted appropriately to correct the situation. The supervisor explained to the individuals the complaint process, should they elect to file a complaint, and provided contact information for the department.
Following the incident, Concord PD initiated a thorough internal review in accordance with department protocol. During this review, senior police leadership contacted both individuals involved to express concern and gain an understanding of the incident from their perspective. The experience of the individuals was an instructive part of the departmental review and police leadership has taken appropriate corrective action with the officer involved.